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Grand Central Signature Attractions

Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri may be known for their crops and their cattle, their metals and their manufacturing, and their oil and mining industries, but the states pump out plenty of other products.

They brew beer and make berry wine. They craft hand-blown glass art and screen-print college town T-shirts, and visitors can tour the production facilities to watch as the workers handcraft these Grand Central goods.

Anheuser-Busch Brewery

St. Louis

Anheuser-Busch is one of the biggest names in brewing, and Budweiser is one of its most recognized beers. And it all began in St. Louis: Anheuser’s St. Louis brewery was founded in 1852, making it one of the oldest in the nation.

“St. Louis is the birthplace of Anheuser and Budweiser,” said Kendra Quartz, manager of the St. Louis brewery experiences. She added, “The St. Louis brewery has been giving tours for over 125 years.”

The brewery’s complimentary tour is available several times a day and is capped at 60 people. The tour starts in the Clydesdale stables, which the Busch family built in 1886. A guide takes guests through the historic 1891 Brew House to learn about the seven-step brewing process, then to the Beechwood aging cellar where they can sample Budweiser. The tour wraps up in the Biergarten, where each of the 18 on-tap brews is served in a glass selected to highlight that beer’s qualities. Although the standard tour is free, the brewery recommends reservations for groups, Quartz said.

Groups have several other options that expand on everything in the standard tour. The Day Fresh tour takes visitors through the packaging facility, where each guest gets an additional sample and also leaves with a beer that was brewed that day, Quartz said.

The Beermaster tour provides an in-depth look at the brewing process. Visitors can get close to the brew kettles in the Brew House, taste beer that’s in the process of aging, stand just feet from the packing line and step inside the stables’ tack room. Guests can also sample Budweiser straight from the finishing tank in the finishing room.

Beer School “is truly a different experience because it’s not a tour; it’s in a classroom setting,” Quartz said. Visitors learn about four different types of ale, as well as proper pouring and tasting techniques, before sampling and tasting food pairings.

Rachel Carter

Rachel Carter worked as a newspaper reporter for eight years and spent two years as an online news editor before launching her freelance career. She now writes for national meetings magazines and travel trade publications.